“I hadn’t seen my baby daughter in six months. I was heartbroken…”

It had been over six months since I’d last seen Amelia. Her mother and I had separated, and as we were unable to agree on how access should be granted, I was refused any form of access. I reapplied to the Courts and was finally granted weekly supervised contact to reunite with my daughter and build on our relationship. My baby girl was turning 1 the following month, and I was determined to spend her first birthday with her. 

On our first contact, I was so incredibly nervous and felt very apprehensive. The support workers at Voice of the Child were incredible and reassured me that this was a good thing, and the first big step towards rebuilding my relationship with my daughter. The moment I saw Amelia again, she burst into tears. I felt a huge amount of emotion as she was placed into my arms and immediately stopped crying. She clung onto me for so long, and together we held each other tight as she rested her head on my shoulder. They always say you never know how much you’ll miss someone until their gone - those words have never rung truer.

In the beginning, we struggled to engage in fun activities together as Amelia insisted on my holding her - not that I was complaining! My little girl was back in my arms, and I couldn’t have been happier. Over time, VOC intervened and helped us stimulate Amelia’s interests, ensuring she was always comfortable and ready to open up at her own pace and she began to engage. We saw her smile a lot more and she often played with the toys I’d show her. I learnt what she liked to play with, and what she didn’t like, and finally began to feel like I knew who my little princess was again.

With this time spent together, I was confident enough to go back to the Courts and show them the relationship I’d built with my Daughter. They granted further access with Amelia and announced it was appropriate for contact to be unsupervised in the future, without the help of VOC. 

Thanks to the help of everyone at the centre, I am now able to visit Amelia regularly with unsupported contact. We play happily together, and just last week she started calling me “Dada”. Thank you, VOC, from the bottom of one very happy Dada’s heart.     

 Mr Jones’ Family, told by Mr Jones, 35, 2017